King Charles hosts reception to mark 75th anniversary of ‘Windrush’ arrivals
The Empire Windrush ship docked in London in June 1948
King Charles III speaks with a guest during a reception to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, at Buckingham Palace, London, Britain, on June 14, 2023. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
KING CHARLES held a reception at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (14) to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the start of the arrival of the ‘Windrush generation’ of post-war migrants to Britain from the Caribbean.
The Empire Windrush ship docked in London in June 1948, bringing the first of hundreds of thousands of people who moved to Britain over a 23-year period to help rebuild the country following World War Two.
At the reception, Charles and his wife Queen Camilla were due to unveil 10 portraits of ‘Windrush elders’ which he commissioned last year.
In 2018, Britain apologised for its “appalling” handling of the Windrush generation, after a tightening of immigration policy meant thousands were denied basic rights despite having lived in Britain for decades, and dozens were wrongly deported.
Last year, Charles’ son and now heir Prince William unveiled a national monument to the migrants at London’s Waterloo Station, saying without that their contribution, Britain would not be the country it was today.
He also acknowledged the racism and discrimination the they had endured on their arrival, and the later wrongdoing suffered by tens of thousands during the Windrush scandal.
Charles remains king and head of state of a number of Caribbean countries including Jamaica and the Bahamas, but there have been growing calls for possible reparations from the monarchy over its links to slavery.
In April, Charles gave his support to research into those links after a 17th century document was discovered showing a historical connection between King William III and a notorious transatlantic slave trader.